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03-09-2009, 05:14 PM   #16
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here's a few unprocessed images, to play with..the kangaroo paw was taken using the trusty 16-45 f/f ED AL, and the one of the tiger lilies was taken with the Pentax K 50mm f/1.2 at f/3.2 - I use that image for testing printers ...it's great for spotting weaknesses in the red,orange and yellow and green gamut range.

I don't have problems with noise showing up in bokeh. If you're shooting at anything above ISO200 on the K10D it's bound to happen,but with the fast lenses I own, I rarely need to.


Last edited by Digitalis; 05-08-2009 at 12:32 AM.
03-10-2009, 01:25 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
"Obviously, lenses like FA 50/1.4, FA 50/1.2, etc. would also be great"
- actually they aren't I prefer the 50mm f/2.5 macro.

besides there isn't any FA 50/1.2 - there is only an A and the K version. and I prefer the K version simply because it's a bit sharper in the corners at wide to medium apertures. and aesthetically it looks better ;-)

but I would not recommend a f/1.2 lens for macro work, at any rate. However, I would recommend the Zeiss 100mm f/2 or the Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 - both lenses focus to 1:1 and offer only what I could describe as superlative bokeh. Both are manual focus, feature rather long focus throws which assist in precision focusing. From my experience longer macro lenses are better than shorter ones because macro lenses have this nasty habit of increasing their field of view at high magnifications the DFA macro is a culprit of this, the FA macro ends up at 82.3mm instead of 100mm at 1:1.

Yes, the FA 50/1,2 was a slip of the fingers. I meant A 50/1,2.

Also, RE: macro, as I stated in my post, the OP wants to do something like the Flickr linked person is doing, and that is NOT macro. If it were real macro, I would've also recommended the good ol' Makro Planars, Apo Lanthars, and all that jazzin' expensive as hell macro lenses to anyone who could afford them, or, to lesser beings like myself, one of the Tak/Super Tak/D FA, etc. 50/100mm macro lenses (I personally use a D FA 100mm f2.8 macro regardless of its shittititude).

But if you'd bothered to actually go to the Flickr stream and check out what the member is doing, you will see that it is precisely the kind of "bad" bokeh that you talk about (swirly bokeh, popping jumping whacko bokeh, etc.) that she creates, and that's because she's using Planar 50/1,4, Biometar 80/2.8, and godforbid Lensbabies, not because she's using a $1200 macro lens.

Again, to achieve the kind of whacky but if-done-correctly beautiful (at least to some eyes) bokeh, the way to go is to shoot fast primes close-up (using extension tubes if necessary). Planar/Gauss design lenses will be better for that purpose than Tessar (good for macro) or Sonnar (good for creamy smooth bokeh) design lenses.

On the other hand, if creamy smooth bokeh is your number one priority, sell all your Pentax gear, buy a Sony alpha 900 and the STF 135mm f2.8 (T4.5). 'Nuff said ;-)
03-10-2009, 01:44 AM   #18
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well the op DID title this thread "improving bokeh"...so buttery smooth bokeh is my personal ideal...and in any case I don't think the 50mmf/1.2 would do the trick...sure it's fast, but I have never seen that lens produce "bad"bokeh...belive me I have tried. Zeiss lenses are better...or should I say worse?...i'm so confused!

I can't see stuff posted on Flickr for some reason, has something to do with my internet provider...and as well all know AUS is behind in broadband availability...damn it all.

why the hell would I want to use a sony camera that's doesn't have a built in MP3 player in it?

okay, if you want whacko Bokeh I can help...I'll give you a list of lenses I don't like...that should give you a place to start.

the takumar should do great....get the pentax 50mm f/1.7 at f/2 the aperture blades don't make a proper circular opening, it could only be described as a demented starfish...get one of those!...and I mentioned in another thread the Pentax M42 55mm f/2, that lens has this residual spherical aberration that can make the bokeh look like it has bubbles in it...and speaking of bubbles you can still find old zeiss lenses that have glass bubbles in the lens elements...back in the good'ol days photographers actually claimed the bubbles improved the lens's performance! or you could go for a Russian-made Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5

-take a look at the aperture blades!(image from photozone.de)

Last edited by Digitalis; 04-07-2009 at 06:06 PM.
03-10-2009, 02:03 AM   #19
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See, now you're talkin'!! :-D

Yes, I had a Helios 40-2 for a short period; like you, I'm not that crazy about crazy bokeh, and the Helios 40-2 was crazy in its bokeh, without even having to stop down to bring about that star-shaped bokeh circle.

Other lenses that do that:

INDUSTAR-61 L/Z-MC
Volna-9 50/2.8 (I actually just purchased this right here on PentaxForums, like yesterday ;-)


But even without the star shaped aperture blades, fast Soviet prime lenses all have a bunch of whack factor in them, as do many of the German lenses they were trying to copy; e.g., CZJ Biotar 75/1,5.


One more thing that came to me, (this is to the OP), if you like what she's doing with her Lensbaby, obviously that's one choice you can make, but a lot of the effects has to do with selective focusing. That's why fast primes are good to replicate her stuff because shallow DoF effectively generates selective focusing. However, you can also add selective focusing using tilt lenses. So, one thing you might consider is a tilt/shift lens; you can get an Arsat 35mm or 80mm f2.8 tilt shift lenses on Ebay for 400-500USD.

Or, since you don't need shift, you can do what I always recommend to people, which is to buy a cheap Pentacon 6 mount (medium format) lens and a tilt adapter for K mount:





E.g., you can get a Volna-3 80mm f2.8 (copy of CZJ Biometar 80/2.8, one of the lenses the Flickr girl uses) for $40-50US and a tilt adapter for $110 or so on Ebay. And you can do something like



I don't claim it to be a masterpiece, but you can see how I've used selective focusing to achieve the unusual apparent DoF.

03-10-2009, 02:16 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
...
- actually they aren't I prefer the 50mm f/2.5 macro.
What macro lens is this?

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
However, I would recommend the Zeiss 100mm f/2 or the Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 - both lenses focus to 1:1 and offer only what I could describe as superlative bokeh. Both are manual focus, feature rather long focus throws which assist in precision focusing. From my experience longer macro lenses are better than shorter ones because macro lenses have this nasty habit of increasing their field of view at high magnifications the DFA macro is a culprit of this, the FA macro ends up at 82.3mm instead of 100mm at 1:1.
FYI the Carl Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar T* is only capable of 1:2 magnification or half life size.

Only macro lenses that have internal focusing mechanisms to reduce barrel extension like for example the Canon 100mm EF f/2.8 macro have the issue of focal lengths change as these lenses are focused closer.

I have both the FA and DFA versions of the 50mm macro and 100mm macro lenses and both lenses do not have internal focus mechanisms nor reduce their focal lengths at 1:1 magnification.
03-10-2009, 06:40 AM   #21
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@pareto - that's an interesting technique you've discovered.

I suspect the flower bokeh shots in the OP have had some color shifts applied etc., i.e. not always straight out of the camera.

In my own investigations, these sorts of effects are a combination of the relationship of focal length, distance to focus and to background, and finally the character of the lens itself. As has been mentioned, close focus is key; sometimes but not necessarily a paper thin DOF. The relative distance of the OOF objects works with the focal length and lens character - you learn to put the background into an optimal zone. Finally, the character of the lens contributes to the flavor of the bokeh; though selective blur such as Pareto's technique can be applied as well.

The reason I suggested trying an inexpensive tele converter is to un-correct over correction, giving a different feel to the bokeh. This also changes the relative focal length / minimum focus which also impacts the result. Using an extension tube changes the minimum focus without affecting the focal length of course.

A few lenses whose close focus character I find charming: Auto Tamron-F 35/2.8; Yashinon DX 35/2.8; Zuiko 85/2; Yashinon DSM 50/1.7. A Lensbaby, as has been mentioned, can produce some nice effects too.

Not that these are such fantastic examples, this is the Yash DX 35:



The Tamron-F 35, has some swirly bokeh but suffers from softness wide open


Last edited by Nesster; 03-10-2009 at 07:01 AM.
03-10-2009, 07:16 AM   #22
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I, for one, like the crazy bokeh. Of course, bokeh is a matter of taste, almost by definition ("the quality of the out of focus area").

Some shots I take are as much (or more) for the bokeh than for the subject.
03-10-2009, 08:00 AM   #23
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"FYI the Carl Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar T* is only capable of 1:2 magnification or half life size."

thanks for pointing that out,I stand corrected.

"Only macro lenses that have internal focusing mechanisms to reduce barrel extension like for example the Canon 100mm EF f/2.8 macro have the issue of focal lengths change as these lenses are focused closer."

Even the FA/DFA macro lenses exhibit this to an extent. Certainly, they are not as bad as IF lenses but this seems to be something universal to macro lenses with extreme close focusing capability..the focal length at infinity will get shorter as it approaches 1:1

"I have both the FA and DFA versions of the 50mm macro and 100mm macro lenses and both lenses do not have internal focus mechanisms nor reduce their focal lengths at 1:1 magnification. "

I suggest you test them, you might be surprised ;-)

03-10-2009, 08:17 AM   #24
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.

Love this image, nesster:



Where did you get that Yashinon 35, and how much would one expect to pay?
03-10-2009, 08:19 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urmas R. Quote
I have been dedicated now to improve the bokeh in my macro shots. I found a nice gallery at Flickr Flickr: setsunasky's Photostream

Any idea, how she gets these shots? Some of them appear to be done by using lensbaby, whereas others have a really interesting radial blur in the background.

I am also looking for suggestions for macro lenses or short telephoto lenses with interesting bokeh or postprocessing tips.



Cheers!

urmas
Hi,

in my Flowers gallery you can find examples taken with FA 100/2.8 Macro, Voigtlander 125/2.5, DA 35/2.8 Limited and K 50/1.2. Each lens has its specific features.

In addition more bokeh can be found in macro gallery.


This season I will experiment with Leica 60/2.8 macro and Vivitar S1 90/2.5 and of course with Voigtlander 125.
03-10-2009, 09:24 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.

Love this image, nesster:
Where did you get that Yashinon 35, and how much would one expect to pay?
Thank you - I really like this little lens. I found it rummaging through a cardboard box at the local camera store for $15. They do come up on ebay every now and then.
03-10-2009, 11:20 AM   #27
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Hi Piotr!

Very nice gallery and excellent example for nice bokeh.
Here are a couple from me.





The first on I have to admit, was taken with Nikon 105mm lens.

The second one with K20d and 35mm Ltd.
03-10-2009, 11:27 AM   #28
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Hi Nesster,

Nice roses! The Tamron you have has a very peculiar bokeh.



Back to the very 1st post - I think that one of the key aspects here is shooting against light. High contrast lights, like sun shining through tree leaves seems to generate the nicely busy bokeh with a fast lens.

I'll keep my eye now on ebay to get some of the aforementioned lenses.

I wish this rain would stop here and I could get out to try some ideas
03-11-2009, 06:11 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote

I suggest you test them, you might be surprised ;-)
I think I know my macro lenses well enough and I know that the minimum focusing distance of the A, F, FA and DFA 100mm macro lenses are identical. The lenses may differ in barrel design and vary slightly in terms of working distance to the subject but they all pretty similar when it comes to 1:1 magnification.

Are you mistaking minimum focusing distance with working distance?
03-11-2009, 08:04 PM   #30
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here's another crazy bokeh shot for you...I took this at Christmas last year...the WB should be tungsten but I left it at 5000K, it looks more interesting that way.

Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 with 11mm extension tube.

Last edited by Digitalis; 05-08-2009 at 12:32 AM.
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